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James Carlson

photo of James Carlson James Carlson
Wildlife Biologist

James Carlson is a Wildlife Biologist for the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) in Fort Collins, CO. He has been studying avian ecology for more than 10 years. He began working for USDA in 2002 conducting research on bird damage to plant and animal agricultural operations. Currently his research focuses on the integration of avian and disease ecology to address public health, ecological and economic issues associated with bird use of feedlots and dairies.

Research Project:  Methods Development and Population Biology of Blackbirds and Starlings In Conflict with Agriculture, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and Urban Environments


Current Research

  • Assessing the role of starlings in the spread of disease in feedlots and dairies
  • Efficacy of starling control as a disease management tool in feedlots
  • Economic impacts associated with bird damage in dairies
  • Nutritional impact to cattle rations by foraging flocks of birds
  • Use of anthraquinone to reduce red-winged blackbird damage to ripening sweet corn
  • Mechanisms of disease transmission by birds in feedlots and dairies


  • M. S., Colorado State University, Ecology, “ Rock Pigeon Use of Livestock facilities in Northern Colorado: Implications for Improving Farm Biosecurity
  • M.S., Bowling Green State University, Biology/Psychology, "Variations in populations of the white-footed mouse (Permyscus leucopus noveboracensis) on islands in Lake Erie"
  • B.S., University of Montana, Wildlife Biology


Contact Information

  • Address: USDA/APHIS/WS/NWRC 4101 LaPorte Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521
  • Telephone: 970-266-6127
  • Fax: 970-266-6138
  • E-mail: james.c.carlson@aphis.usda.gov



Werner, S.J., S.T. DeLiberto, A.M. Mangan, S.E. Pettit, J.W. Ellis, and J.C. Carlson.  Anthraquinone-based repellent for horned larks, great-tailed grackles, American crows and the protection of California's specialty crops. Crop Protection 72:158-162.  doi: 10.1016/j.cropro.2015.03.020


Tupper, S.K., S.J. Werner, J.C. Carlson, S.E. Petit, J.C. Wise, C.A. Lindell, and G.M. Linz. 2014. European starling feeding activity on repellent treated crops and pellets. Crop Protection 63:76-82. doi: 10.1016/j.cropro.2014.05.001.

Werner, S.J., S.K.Tupper, S.E. Pettit, J.W. Ellis, J.C. Carlson, D.A. Goldade, N.M. Hofmann, H.J. Homan, and G.M. Linz. 2014. Application strategies for an anthraquinone-based repellent to protect oilseed sunflower crops from pest blackbirds. Crop Protection 59: 63-70.


Carlson, J. C., S. K. Tupper, S. J. Werner, S. E. Pettit, M. M. Santer, and G. M. Linz. 2013. "Laboratory Efficacy of an Anthraquinone-Based Repellent for Reducing Bird Damage to Ripening Corn." Applied Animal Behaviour Science 145 (1-2): 26-31.


Carlson, J. C., J. W. Ellis, S. K. Tupper, A. B. Franklin, and G. M. Linz. 2012. "The Effect of European Starlings and Ambient Air Temperature on Salmonella Enterica Contamination within Cattle Feed Bunks." Human-Wildlife Interactions 6 (1): 64-71.

Shwiff, S. A., J. C. Carlson, J. H. Glass, J. Suckow, M. S. Lowney, K. M. Moxcey, B. Larson, and G. M. Linz. 2012. "Producer Survey of Bird-Livestock Interactions in Commercial Dairies." Journal of Dairy Science 95 (11): 6820-6829.

Werner, S. J., S. K. Tupper, J. C. Carlson, S. E. Pettit, J. W. Ellis, and G. M. Linz. 2012. "The Role of a Generalized Ultraviolet Cue for Blackbird Food Selection." Physiology and Behavior 106 (5): 597-601.


Carlson, J. C., L. Clark, M. F. Antolin, and M. D. Salman. 2011. "Rock Pigeon use of Livestock Facilities in Northern Colorado: Implications for Improving Farm Bio-Security." Human-Wildlife Interactions 5 (1): 112-122. .

Carlson, J. C., R. M. Engeman, D. R. Hyatt, R. L. Gilliland, T. J. DeLiberto, L. Clark, M. J. Bodenchuk, and G. M. Linz. 2011. "Efficacy of European Starling Control to Reduce Salmonella Enterica Contamination in a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation in the Texas Panhandle." BMC Veterinary Research 7.

Carlson, J. C., A. B. Franklin, D. R. Hyatt, S. E. Pettit, and G. M. Linz. 2011. "The Role of Starlings in the Spread of Salmonella within Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations." Journal of Applied Ecology 48 (2): 479-486. .

Carlson, J. C., G. M. Linz, L. R. Ballweber, S. A. Elmore, S. E. Pettit, and A. B. Franklin. 2011. "The Role of European Starlings in the Spread of Coccidia within Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations." Veterinary Parasitology 180 (3-4): 340-343.

Werner, S. J., G. M. Linz, J. C. Carlson, S. E. Pettit, S. K. Tupper, and M. M. Santer. 2011. "Anthraquinone-Based Bird Repellent for Sunflower Crops." Applied Animal Behaviour Science 129 (2-4): 162-169.

Werner, S. J., S. K. Tupper, S. E. Pettit, J. C. Carlson, and G. M. Linz. 2011. "Anthraquinone Repellent to Reduce Take of Non-Target Birds from Zinc Phosphide Rodenticide Applications." Applied Animal Behaviour Science 135 (1-2): 146-153


Werner, S. J., G. M. Linz, S. K. Tupper, and J. C. Carlson. 2010. "Laboratory Efficacy of Chemical Repellents for Reducing Blackbird Damage in Rice and Sunflower Crops." Journal of Wildlife Management 74 (6): 1400-1404. .